Sunday, May 31, 2009


Here is my fresh baked pineapple upside down cake.. Dig in!

Baking day

The sun came out and I have the farmer tan to proove it. My mom and I went to a mid day concert at Thorton Winery.. It was lovely.. I had never heard of Chris Botti, but I am now a fan..
However, after baking in the sun all day I was still in the mood for baking at home.. So as soon as I got home I did a quick change into some comfy clothes and donned my new Paris apron (THANK YOU BEV!)..
My house smells delicious..I can't wait to try SmittenKitchens pineapple upside down cake.. it's almost ready.. Since I needed pineapple juice for that cake and I had an actual fresh pineapple it meant I had to do something with the canned crushed pineapple. What could I make? hmmm. I decided on my cooking light zucchini pineapple quick bread.. Its an easy recipe that yields 2 loaves and even my picky eater will eat it! With all that sunny pineapple goodness I figured something more sinful was needed.. What did I have left in my pantry. I decided on a chocolate bundt cake because I had accidentaly greased a bundt pan for the unpside down cake.. I can't waste a greased pan afterall..So as you can see the sun has affected my brain..
In the words of Marie Antoinette- "Let them eat cake!"
Happy Sunday!

Saturday, May 30, 2009


Sometime this week in the wee hours of the morning I realized I was out of scones.. What would I have with my coffee? I am a girl of my routine and my coffee must have bread.. My usual is scones..
I have the best and easiest recipe for scones this side of England. Or in my case Scotland.. It is a tried and true receipe and I have yet to meet anyone who didn't like my scones.. The recipe is officially called "Scottish Oat Scones".. I, however, have made slight variations to it over the years to make it work for me. The fact that they freeze is another reason these are great scones. I can have a fresh scone every day with just a few mins in the it.

Ok, back to the recipe.. its 1.5 cups of flour (I use half whole wheat without issues).. 2 cups of Oats (not quick oats). 1/4 cup of sugar, 2/3 cup of butter (soft/room temp), 1/3 cup milk (I use fat free), 1 egg, 1 tablespoon baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt. That is it, the rest is personal choice.. You can do a 1/2 cup of any dried fruit (cranberries, cherries, raisins, etc). I also use one green apple grated fine and drained of juice. Lastly if you want a little crunch, 1/4 cup of your choice of nuts. Don't forget 1 tsp of vanilla is always a good thing..
I literally dump everything. I start with the sugar and the butter in the mixer until creamy. I combine the dry ingredients and then add the dry to the butter mixture. The egg, milk should come in next. after that your add ins.. Now here is the kicker.. No rolling or chilling.. I love my cookie dropper and plop 2 of those full and make a full dozen..
First of all who has time to wait for scones to chill? not me.. Who has time to roll them out, shape into triangles and make them pretty with egg wash? Right..When I want scones I want them in about the same time it takes my coffee to brew.. Is that asking too much? I hope not and thanks to a stand mixer and this fabulous recipe, its not.. Of course like all baking there are some key things to have handy like room temp eggs and butter. Which is why I always have butter and eggs on the counter. You just never know when you want to bake something..
Viola! Here are my scones..

Sleepy Saturday

The weather turned on us.. We went from warm summer like days to a hazy and cool day..
It was a lovely day for doing a whole lot of nothing.. Which is what we did and all I can say is it was great..
Soccer was rough today. We tied at the last second, literally. The girls were tired and bruised by the time the game finished.. We have never had a game like that. It must have been the weather too..
After soccer we lingered on the field longer than normal. Usually we have plans, people to meet or something to do.. Not today.. We said hi to past teammates and parents, we visited the AYSO tent and saw the gang.. It was nice to see the big kids playing, the fields were full..
After showers and a grocery run we came home for lunch.. The couch was calling and we all answered. Maya and Martin slept for about 2 hours.. I managed an hour since I was catching up with Sharon.. I missed her! She's been up to her ears in caring for others.. Hoping we can meet up in person soon...
Next thing I know its almost dinner time and we are still relaxing the day away on the couch.. Deanna and the girls came up for an impromptu playdate.. the girls giggled over bubbles and colored.. What a treat for Maya..More importantly what a treat for us moms.. Its the one time when we have no kids. These three girls get along so well we have to remember to check on them!
It was so peaceful.. It was soothing to be home.. When was the last time we napped as a family? I haven't the foggiest..All the yard work has paid off.. It was nice to sit out back and see the blooms.. I uploaded some pictures for show and tell and I browsed around for recipes.. I have decided tomorrow will be the day for Pinapple Upside Down cake. I have a ripe pineapple just calling me and SmittenKitchen has a recipe for me to try.. Wish me luck and if you are in town come on by for a piece of cake..

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I LOVE the library!

Really.. I love any place that houses books but libraries with their infamous free checkout policies top my list.. We just got back from our Public Library.. The shiny new one on the other side of town. The one with a kids wing the size of the town and "New Releases" section tempting you at the door.. I can't say enough about how great the library is.. For those new to frugality its FREE.. You can check out movies, books on tape, CD's, back issues of magazines, newspapers from all over and again, those darned new releases..
As a self proclaimed bibliophial it is a regular on my list of places to go.. We have been frequenting the library since Maya was in diapers.. She loves books with a CD, I love that I can let her enjoy the book on a car ride as I drive and she flips the pages. I especially like that we can check out books and when we are bored we can pick up a whole new stack..I mean after all bed time reading should not bore a child to sleep..It should inspire some dreams.
Tonight the bag was so heavy Martin asked me if I came to rob the place.. Its so hard to just pick up a few things.. I mean after all as I browsed the shelves I saw the 25th Anniversary edition of the Silver Palate cookbook. Considering that I borrowed that book at least 3 yrs a go from a coworker so I could copy the "carrot cake" recipe that has now become my most requested cake, I had to see whatelse was in that book to try for family... I saw some back issues of Budget Travel with tips on Family vacations and vacations in California- Hello, its summer I need to plan a family vacation.. Then there were the kids books.. Missy loves the Bear series and there was a new one about Bear being sick and it has the read along CD.. Martin tossed in 3 CD's for himself.. I believe we checked out approx 15 books.. Not bad for an hour of browsing.. Now what do I read first?
Happy Reading,

Sunday, May 24, 2009

A new bag for Maya

Maya and I usually cook together. We even do crafts together but we have never really sewn together. Well that all changed yesterday when I saw the "Kid Flick" bracelet purse tutorial . It was the perfect little thing to make. It was fast. It was something I could guide her to help with and it yields one super cute bag.. I had to trek to several stores to find plastic bracelets.. Who knew they would be hard to come by? I then stopped at Joann's for some Maya friendly fabric..

Once home Maya was excited to hear that she would get to help with every step.. Her favorite thing was pushing the pedal to "drive" the sewing machine.. It was easy peasy.. Here is Maya's newest bag..

Established 2002

"Ah! There is nothing like staying home for real comfort." - Jane Austen

This weekend 7 years ago we were unloading a truck with all of our worldly possessions and moving in to our house..

That house is now "Home" also known as the Galvan Ranch.. The joke when we moved in was that we were out in the middle of nowhere.. I mean you have to pass Temecula proper and trek east on Winchester road up to the French Valley.. You must pass the airport, pass the shooting range, the cows and herds sheep...More houses have been built around us and we even have a grocery store within a stone's throw but the feeling off being away from "town" is not gone.. The cows are still there and we greet them every morning on our way "to town"..

On my daily walk I pass the "French Valley" farm and see the lovely horses in their corrals..I see the chickens pecking for food and the goats roaming. I hear the sounds of farm life.. At times I think that the farm dogs are barking at the rising up of tract communities in perfect rows and small lots because those homes signal the end of the quiet and natural rural setting they enjoy..Its a funny juxtapositon of country and cookie cutter tract housing out here in the French Valley..In between the farm life and the open space there is plenty of suburban life.. The soccer fields are filled on Saturday by hundreds of parents and their kids.. The roads are on constant flow.. Yard sales and BBQ's are common place.. The French Valley is a community...
It's our community.. I honestley can't believe we have been here that long.. It seems like just yeaterday we were marveling at how large a home we purchased and stressing about how we would make ends meet while commuting over 60 miles each way..We didnt have enough furniture or money to fill the house.. We had no immediate family or friends out here. The times have changed and many blessings have come our way.. We have met our neighbors and now count them among our friends.. Missy was born here and knows nowhere else as home.. The heat has grown on us and we have adjusted to even the blazing heat of the summer (with AC of course).. We have personalized our space by adding plants, a builtin TV cabinet and paint on just about every wall..My crayola box of paint colors.. We have welcomed in the years and the neighbors... We are grateful to have a place to rest and play.. We are grateful to call this place, Home.

Sunday Blessings,


Friday, May 22, 2009


You all know I am a picture fanatic.. At some point in time I have put a camera in front of you and asked you to pose or put some lipstick on.. Well it was my turn to be on the other side. I have been wanting professional pictures in a nice setting forever.. So when the opportunity struck I had to take it. We had some pictures done this morning and you can see our sneak peek here.. I can't wait to see the rest.. She titled it dimples which is so endearing.. She kept telling the Missy that she knew a real smile from a fake one because real ones had dimples.. You all know my kid has some cute dimples..

Finally Friday!

We took the day off! Yipee.. A four day weekend for me.. 5 days for hubby since he took Thursday off to take the Missy to Disney.. Just him and her.. A total surprise to her as she thought he was taking her to school like normal.. They came home exhausted which was not a good thing the night before a family picture.. Yes, bright and not so shiny morning..we were on the road by 8 for our 9:30 session at a duck pond in Vista.. I am amazed that after growing up in Vista I never knew it existed.. Such is life.. Its a big town that feels small..
Anyhow- I am eagerly anticipating the pictures.. It was us 3 plus grandma and Arthur.. It was funny and challenging on a morning where no one had had their coffee, especially me! Our photographer was sooo nice.. I really do hope our pictures aren't the first ones in her portfolio that arent fabulous!
I am beyond tired.. I have been fighting off that bug all week with Airborne but today I am winded. I just want to nap. I don't want to think of all the places that need cleaning. I don't want to think of To Do's .. I want to snooze and then maybe wake up in time to go find some cute bracelets so Missy and I can make a cute bracelet purse.. Julie posted a link to a Kid Flick purse.. It looks so cute and "easy peasy" as Missy would say how can we not make one on this long and lazy weekend.. Yes, I said lazy. the busy bees have NOTHING on the calendar. No Soccer, No birthday parties (those don't start until July) no visiting anyone! So instead of cleaning like I should, I want to play. I want to make that cute bag for Missy and maybe a couple of extra ones for goody gifts.. I want to finish some of the other cute quilts that had to take a back seat to the gift.. Its done! I dropped off the blue and green quilt at the shop since we were in the 'hood this morning.. While I was there I saw soo many fabulous new fabrics.. I'd better finish a couple more quilts before I can justify any more fabric..
Martin just finished Maya's bench.. It looks great. I need to take a picture of it.. He is such a handy guy.. I will have to write an entire blog on how awesome it is to have a handy man for a hubby..It's one of the best qualities in dear hubby..
Maya is happily and quietly coloring in her loft.. she needs her down time and I am sure is just recharging those batteries..She gets in groove where she can just focus on coloring and doesn't want anything except time to color.. So be it.. the girl was at Disney all day and she even rode Space Mountain! She is a roller coaster junkie at 5..
Happy Friday!

Monday, May 18, 2009

I see blues and greens...

I found an adorable pattern for a lap sized quilt in blues and greens.. The kicker was that it was a kit.. no thinking, no digging in my stash..Quilter's Coop is my local shop but up to now I have been faithful to Fat Quarters.. the shop that has been my "Cheers"for the past 10 years.. I still drive out there 2 Friday nights a month..
Back to the quilt, it was exactly what I needed for a bright a cheery gift..It has about 4 different lines but the main one something called Al Fresco is just too much for words.. The matching daisies and the shimmery polka dots.. Need I say more? I am determined to buy more of that polka dot for my stash...I am on a mission. The blocks were done yesterday and waiting for me patiently all day.. I have 5 rows pinned up to my dining room wall.. Don't tell hubby about the holes.. they are so tiny.. The plan is to get the rows stiched and the borders on tomorrow night after the gym..
One day at a time..

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Yes, its a glorious and bright Sunday already.. My internal clock woke me ready for my morning walk, except that today I hope to make it to Yoga instead. I havent been in ages and need the stretch..
The house is alive with ideas swirling in our heads. Maya is already cutting and glueing a craft project.. Martin is itching to try a new tool and start a new project for the house.. I am ready to work on my lastest quilt project. It is a little number in blue and green.. its a gift so I don't want to reveal too much until its done..


Thursday, May 14, 2009

It's almost Friday?? what?

Ok, don't ask me where this week went.. Since I just posted about the weekend, I am trying to figure out where what I did this week and why my head hurts?. It has been busy.. you know the usual 9 to 5. or some days it 7am to10 pm.. it just feels like it never ends.. Thankfully it does and I can log off the work PC and plug back into my normal home life..
We are still investigating flooring options. Hoping we can go out and choose something this weekend. Hope we can afford something!
Soccer practice was hilarious.. I tried to work on Blocking as a skill. yeah, tell six 5 year olds that they can't take the ball away from te player.. it was comedic..
I got my "Seams to me" sewing book delivered today.. Can't wait to peruse those patterns.. But that will have to wait as I am hooked on Little Bee.. Author is C. Cleave, never heard of him.. Love his writing style.. Will share more later..
Nothing on the calendar for the weekend.. I hope I can get to the closet. Its driving me crazy to see my closet. I must purge and compartmentalize.. I have the cleaning itchies.. wish me luck.. everywhere I look I find something out of place..
C'est La Vie

Mother's day weekend recap

It's Spring soccer so we are on the field every week.. I left as soon as the game was up.. We won!
It was a hard fought and hard played game. Maya scored 4 goals and ended up in a tough and tumble battle for the ball. Unfortunately, less than 2 mins left, a headbutt downed her. My poor pumpkin was done. She was crying and in pain. All she knew was that she scored and that the girl was mean.. Oh to be 5 again..

I jumped in my little realiable and off I went.. 85 miles north west..It was an all day excursion to Pasadena for us. Just the 3 of us. Mom, Arthur and I.. I can't remember the last time we have spent time together without other people..Mom and her kids...except that to look at us you would never think we were that or even related. After all there is a petite lady of some foreign origin flanked by a 6 foot tall man and on the other side a chubby 30 something girl.. You would never guess that we shared so much..

We ate a a great place called "Mi Piace".. We shared food and tried some of the recommendations for the meat eating barteneder. We walked up and down the blocks and discovered we all liked the Lush exfloliating/mosturizing bath bar.. I will now be an online shopper as I can't drive 85 miles for soap...We ended up at a neat Cuban restaurant with amazing appetizers..If you are ever in Pasadena and love Mojito's go to the restaurant of that name. I don't drink (so those who know me will probably laugh at the recommendation for a drink) but they do grind the pulp of real sugarcane for the drink, I am assuming that makes it better than your normal concoction.. Mom and Arthur swooned a little over their creations.. I just ate up the warm bread and prawn salad as my feat tapped to the beat of the music. Food and family..

Sunday it was up early to get a start on the tea cookies and carmel apples. You know me, if I am not giving someone a book I am feeding them! Maya was on her ladder and ready by 6:20am.. I had missed her so much how could I refuse letting her help? I knew it would slow me down but you know, we only have so many moments and 5 is flying by for me.. She is a great helper and knows that first we must have our hair in a pony tail and wash our hands.. She will find a way to be ready if it means she can pour, stir, mix or shape.. We had to shape the tea cookies. I love the way her little hands pat the mixture.. He tiny hands perfect for the tablespoon full of sweet dough.. She was so cute with her rows of cookies. Lining up the rows of cookies until she felt every cookie was in the right place.. Before we knew it time had fast forwarded to mid day and we were on our way to Auntie Monica's house.. A car nap for Maya and a new book for me.. More later on "Little Bee." Here is the cover...

At Monica's we were happy to see Ally, Irma, Aunt Lidia and Adrian.. we don't get to see them except for maybe once or twice a year. Mother's day seems to be one of those occaisions that brings them down to break bread with us.. We have a fairly large and disconjointed family so seeing family from LA always brings back old memories.. By 4pm the house was filled with smells of great food and moms.. Hugs and flowers were given freely and with warm wishes.. Mona and all 3 of her kids plus an extra were in good spirits.. Monica the official hostess was prepping food and welcoming the late birds as they came. Grandpa Miguel watched as the kids played Sequence.. Mom and Arthur were joking and fighting with each other in their normal way.. Jessica looked vintage in some dark framed glasses. A newbie to the glasses wearing club..
More food. Lots more food. I will pay for all that goodness tomorrow. However, for today I am grateful to have had the food and more importantly to share it with my family..

The day was capped off by my lovely new" handmade" apron. It was my mother's day gift from Maya.. Her hands in purple across the pockets.. May her hands always be that close to mine..
I can only hope for more wonderful Mother's days filled with family and memories...


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy 50th MOM!

I had to make a post just for mom.. afterall she turned 50 last Friday. Here she is with the Missy.. Where did the time go..
Love ya mom!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Friday night faves..

Oh where do I start? I love Friday nights.. It means the work week has ended and mytime has begun.. This is a BIG weekend.. Mom is 50 today! Seriously! 50! She and Barbie are still struting their stuff.. Happy Birthday Mom!

back to the regularly scheduled program.. yes, some faves..

1) smell of sweets baking.. tonight it is carrot cake... shhh don't tell mom. The cinnamon is swirling around and I can almost taste the yummy goodness of the cake. I better walk an extra 5K to cancel out the fattening effect of one forkful of that cake.. Right.. The recipe is looking mighty delicate. I may have to write it down before it disintegrates..
2) flowers.. walking out my front door I now get to see a lovely huge Hydrengea bush.. It is the pink almost antique brown mottled version.. Like the kind you see on Lombard street in San Fran. They are God's gift to us.. you can't look at a flower and not feel happy.. Hubby has been working on the yard and with the addition of some lovely pink and white cosmos to the backyard.. I can't help but want to go outside for some lemonade.. Its Spring!
3) books.. I hit the library on Wed night. I picked up 5 books for the Missy, 4 back issue magazines and 4 books.. Don't ask me how I will get them all read but I can renew online! Technology has it's perks.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

An Apron giveaway!

Go check out the Apronista.. This May giveaway is vintage apron and its pattern.. I am still trying to figure out how fast I am going to have to make Aprons for Christmas.. hmm.. how many months left? I am still trying to figure out how May snuck up on me...
Have a great one!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Blahness..Is that even a word?

I don't know what got into me.. I am in a funk.. a BLAH mood.. I can't really explain why and I am trying my hardest to fight it.. I don't think anyone should have to put up with me in a bad mood.. Its odd even to me.. I am feeling like a cross between Eeoyre and Rabbit.. A little bit of woes me and a smidge of negativity.. Who knows.. It just is..
I could rattle off some of the things that I thought I would get to this weekend but between soccer at 8am yesterday and nap time today it was a blur.. I have not been productive. May is here and I am beyond behind on everything.. Craft projects that have to get done aren't (that 9 to 5 interferes with my other life, the real one)..2 out of 3 bathrooms have yet to be cleaned.. Its Sunday! I have nothing good in mind for my mom's big milestone birthday..I did manage to get one part of her gift and we are planning an all day excursion to Pasedena for some window shopping and lunch...But I want to get her something special.. something that says milestone.. I have made her quilts before and scrapbooks..I am idead out..
Martin's birthday yesterday was good only because he is so laid back that an impromtu BBQ at home was enough for him to be happy. I baked him a cream cheese pound cake and our compadres came over for the BBQ. It was unplanned but it worked out..
The laundry is still in baskets and not in the closet.. I haven't the energy yet to fold clothes.. I guess I won't be sleeping tonight as I know me. I will get a burst of energy and be determined to get the house back on track before the Monday morning work day..
I have oatmeal cookie dough in the fridge chilling so that the cookies will be thick and chewy.. A small treat for today.. I just need to be ok with not being in constant motion..
Missy is sitting next to me doing her makeup.. she looks like she's ready for halloween.. She is such a little lady.. I can tell we are going to have to fight over the make up age.. Oh boy...
The sun is still out.. we are enjoying our quiet time.. Maya was drawing while I indulged in a back issue of a country living magazine and plotted how much longer I could put off getting the house done.. In my defense I did manage to clean the down stairs of the house complete with mopping. I did do the weekly grocery run... I did get the laundry done and the trashes out.. It just isn't completely done and back together in place. I can't light a lovely smelling candle until I know that everything has made its way back to its spot..
I hope the mood is gone. I hope those cookies will give me that last bit of energy to end this lovely day on a better note.. I have so much to be thankful for and focusing on the bad just isn't the way I want to be. "I have been blessed with so much more than I deserve" I couldnt have said it better myself.. Martina M sings it perfectly..
Wishing everyone anything but blah.. Wishing you hugs and blessings...